Janusz Rybakowski’s presentation after receiving the Mogens Schou ResearchAward of the Internatioal Society of Bipolar Disorders in Mexico City in 2018


Dear Presidents, honorable guests, dear colleagues,

            Thank you very much for this award which isvery special to me because it marks my nearly half a century of research in psychiatry.

            I am deeply moved that this reward is related to Mogens Schou, the greatest scientific personality I have ever known.Mogens became my intimate friend in 1972 and remained such for more than thirty years. In 2005 he visited my hometown Poznan for IGSLI meeting. He was in good shape and nothing predicted that some days after he will terminate his lithium-busy life.

            There are at least two issues connected with this award, the issues I was devoted to for the whole period of my scientific life.

            First is the manic-depressive illness and I prefer this term over bipolar disorder. Manic-depressive illness is a phenomenon extending beyond a medical or social miracle.It is a phenomenon of extreme emotions and experiences and touches very basic and unusually sublime features of human existence and human experience.Probably, better understanding of manic-depressive illness makes you more comprehensive of many aspects of human life.

And, of course, the second is the lithium, the element that has been accompanying us since the beginning of the world as it was one of the threeelements occurring shortly after the Bing Bang.Nowadays lithium is a powerful therapeutic player in psychiatry where in proportion of manic-depressive patients it can replace the illness with totally normal functioning. Therefore, better understanding of the miracle of lithium is better comprehending the challenges of contemporary psychiatric treatments.


November 22, 2018